Friedemann Körner, born in Dresden in 1945, studied at the Music Academy in Dresden and worked as the tenor soloist on the GDR's radio broadcasting.
Following a friend's failed escape in January 1974, the Ministry for State Security grew suspicious of Körner. In October 1974, he and his wife were arrested by the Stasi. Their two sons were placed in the custody of the children's home belonging to the Stasi. The couple were accused of preparing to flee to the West, subversive connections, and anti-state human trafficking. Thereafter, Körner was sentenced to five years and six months in prison, which he served at the prison facility in Brandenburg-Gorden. His wife received a four-year prison sentence and was sent to the Hoheneck women's prison.
As part of the FRG's payment to the GDR in exchange for the release of prisoners, Körner's wife was freed to West Germany in August 1977, as was Körner himself in December of that same year. However, their two children were only permitted to move to West Germany in January of 1978. From June 1979 through his retirement in June 2010, Friedemann Körner sang in the RIAS Chamber Choir.